How to build your own personal computer - Kitchen Table Computers
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Computer Parts


This page is a map to the pages about the various parts of a homebuilt computer. Please click on the links to go to the individual pages.

Choosing parts carefully is one of the most important stages of any computer-building project. You will want to research not only the parts themselves, but also how well they get along with each other. Conflicts between PC hardware are unusual, but not rare.

So begin your research with the pages linked from here, but also research the parts you are considering on newsgroups and computer forums, or ask your geeky friends for suggestions. You also can choose to start with a "barebones" system that includes most of the major parts, and then customize the rest to your liking.

If you are starting your homemade computer building project using a barebones computer kit, then some or most of these parts will be included with the kit; so double-check before you double-buy.


Peripherals and Accessories

While planning your homebuilt computer, take a few moments to consider what peripherals and accessories you'd like use with it. Deciding what monitor you want to use can affect what video card you choose, and other accessories such as external hard drives, printers, break-out boxes for audio or video, TV tuners, and other specialized accessories can affect decisions such as what processor you choose, how much RAM to install, and what interfaces you'll need on your motherboard.

For example, maybe you're an architect or a graphic designer who uses a specialized plotter or printer that requires an old-fashioned LPT port. Guess what? Most motherboards built today don't come with LPT ports! So even a simple thing like a printer can affect your hardware purchasing decisions.


Where to Buy Computer Parts

Some of you may be lucky enough to live close to a computer store that stocks everything you need for your computer building project. I know geeks who have actually chosen their homes based on how close they would be from their favorite computer parts stores!

Luckily, for the rest of us, there's the wonderful world of Online Shopping. Throughout this site, there are links to various online suppliers who can supply everything you need to build a computer, from tools, to anti-static equipment, to books, to the parts themselves. Some of these links are ads, and some of them are just good companies that I thought should be listed.

Be sure to check out the special offers! These are limited-time deals from advertisers that change every day. Sometimes the very part you're looking for may be on sale at a deep discount.

When shopping online, remember to research your purchases in advance, and then compare your available online sources. Consider things like price, availability, shipping time and costs, return policies, and the store's reputation.

Finally, when you're ready to buy, please consider using our own Online Computer Parts Store, which we operate in association with, one of the Internet's most trusted and well-established online vendors. The Store stocks computer tools, books, computer parts, accessories, and all kinds of cool stuff selected from's vast selection.





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